Rule of Three


Crossing the Tide

by Vincent J.F. Huang
Installation art

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We enter a flooded pavilion, the body of water partitioned by walkways. As we traverse the room, the path sags slightly under our weight, wetting our soles, splashing our ankles. As more people cross, we sink further down, and the puddles grow larger. This gradual submersion reflects the effects of climate change on Tuvalu, a low-lying island nation fifteen feet above sea level. Presented at the Venice Art Biennale, the work evokes the Floating City’s bridges and canals, reminding visitors that the issues facing Polynesia are not such a distant concern. Crossing the Tide calls for global responsibility by stressing the impact of every human footprint.

Words by John Wadsworth

Further Than the Furthest Thing

by Zinnie Harris

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Further Than the Furthest Thing, Harris’s second play, centres on Tristan da Cunha and its close-knit community. Isolated from the modern world by a vast expanse of ocean, the inhabitants are suspicious of all that lies beyond their shores. This dormant paranoia bubbles to the surface when an islander returns from his travels abroad, together with an industrialist outsider. With the new visitor comes disruption and the encroachment of urban life. As tension erupts, even the land of Tristan protests. Its small population is evacuated to the remote metropolis of Southampton, with the English city leaving the group lonelier than ever before.

Words by Katherine Fieldgate

The World

developed by Nakheel
Property development

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Four kilometres from the shore of Dubai, situated in the waters of the Persian Gulf, a group of manmade mounds is carefully arranged. This is The World, an incomplete property venture comprising three hundred landmasses, formed primarily from dredged coastal sand. Each area is named after a continent, country, or city. Investors are invited to indulge in an expensive game of make-believe, to stake their claim for a slab of this microcosmic Earth. Yet, this is not a to-scale reproduction. It is a vision of luxury, in which resorts and restaurants dominate, and the ice of Greenland is exchanged for scores of residential homes.

Words by John Wadsworth

More to discover

Crossing the Tide: View images of the artwork on the Tuvalu Pavilion website for the 56th Venice Art Biennale. Dany Mitzman has written about the artwork for BBC Magazine.

Further Than the Furthest Thing: Tanya Wilson has interviewed Zinnie Harris for The Guardian.

The World: Watch a promotional video for The World here.

Today's connection

Tuvalu, Tristan da Cunha, and The World are all archipelagos.

Question of the day

Which artworks connected to the word 'Archipelago' would you recommend? Let us know on Facebook, Patreon, or Twitter.

'The round table is the eye', a poem by Sissal Kampmann, translated from the Faroese by Randi Ward. The narrator shrinks amid the contents of a messy kitchen, the graveyard of a lost domestic warmth. (→)

– Elizabeth Brown, Silent Frame's Deputy Editor (via Facebook →)

Perpetual Repercussion, an artwork by Dyveke Sanne that twinkles on the roof of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. (→)

– John Wadsworth, Silent Frame's Editor-in-Chief (via Patreon →)

Read more: Architecture